Chicken and Waffles with Bacon Gravy

My estate sale waffle iron

My estate sale waffle iron

It all began at an estate sale. The waffle iron was compact and only $7.00. It seemed like a good idea. Waffles were never my thing, but chicken and waffles that is another story. I gave it some thought and decided the ultimate recipe would be topped with bacon gravy. Here is my adventure…

First I cooked 6 slices of chopped up applewood bacon till crisp.

Next I took on the waffles. I used the recipe for basic waffles and added half of the crisp bacon pieces. I really should have read the instructions better. First batch I overflowed the waffle maker. The machine beeped at me while I tried to wipe up the gooey mess on the counter. I tried to pretend I thought it was funny but I didn’t fool myself. The next two batches came out OK. Maybe I would like them a little crisper and darker next time. If there is a next time. I put the OK waffles in the oven at 200 degrees.

Next I made the gravy. Easy standard proportions. 3 Tablespoons bacon drippings melted, stir in 3 Tablespoons flour. Stir. Add lots of pepper. Slowly whisk in 2 cups chicken stock. Cook to a nice gravy consistency. Stir in remaining bacon. Put the heat on simmer to hold.

Chicken comes next. I used chicken tenders. I dipped them in a mixture of sriracha and an egg. Next I dredged them in flour, shaking off the excess. I fried the chicken in about 1/2 inch of peanut oil till brown and cooked through.

To plate them up we each got a bacon waffle drizzled with maple syrup. Topped that with two chicken tenders and the topped that with the bacon gravy.

Then I turned around and looked at the kitchen…it looked like a cooking bomb went off! I normally clean as I go. I normally have a plan before I start. I normally am somewhat organized. This recipe did me in…Try at your own risk. Oh by the way the chicken and waffles with bacon gravy tasted awesome!

Chicken and Waffles with Bacon Gravy

Chicken and Waffles with Bacon Gravy

 

 

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Goat Cheese Stuffed Potatoes

Goat Cheese Stuffed Potatoes

Goat Cheese Stuffed Potatoes

Sometimes you just need a change. I love your basic twice baked potatoes but these are a nice alternative. The goat cheese stuffing elevates the potato to something special.

Goat Cheese Stuffed Potatoes

4 baking potatoes

2 Tablespoons melted butter

4 ounces goat cheese crumbled

4 green onions diced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

1.Bake potatoes one hour. Let cool 15 minutes and slice open. Scoop out the potato leaving the skin intact.

2. In a large bowl gently combine the potato and all other ingredients. Stuff back into skins.

3.Bake at 375 degrees 35 minutes.

 

 

Rosemary Flank Steak

Rosemary Flank Steak

Rosemary Flank Steak

This is a recipe that morphed out of one I was given about 20 years ago. It was the classic soy, sherry, ginger and onion one. Over the years I played with it and this is one variation I really like. Flank is a great cut of beef as long as you follow two simple rules. One; don’t overcook it, medium is about as far as it will go without toughening up. Two; cut across the grain and at a diagonal from the plate. Flank is a can’t miss success if you follow those easy rules.

ready to cook

ready to cook

 

Rosemary Flank Steak

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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1 1/2- 2 pound flank steak

Marinade

1/4 cup each soy sauce, balsamic vinegar and brown sugar

1 Tablespoon each minced fresh rosemary and ground mustard

1 shallot minced

1. Combine marinade ingredients.( I often use a slide lock freezer bag but a glass casserole works too) Marinade the steak for 4-5 hours turning every 1/2 hour or so.

2. Broil on high 4-5 minutes per side. Let rest 5 minutes then slice against the grain.

Cissie says ” My choice would be a hearty California Cabernet Sauvignon, I prefer one from Napa Valley, or a  Cabernet/Merlot blend  French Bordeaux. Any of these wines can be found under $20.00.”

Shrimp and Scallops in Sriracha Cream

Shrimp and Scallops in Sriracha Cream

Shrimp and Scallops in Sriracha Cream

My Max was in town from Chicago. Oddly, he is having trouble finding a good seafood market in his area. So he was craving some seafood. This is what I came up with to feed his need. Shrimp have been a favorite of his since he was little. I prefer to go with wild American shrimp for their sweet clean flavor. I used 16-20 size shrimp. Shrimp are described by how many are in a pound, hence 16-20 per pound. Scallops are a favorite of mine. When you buy sea scallops be sure they are labeled “dry”. This means they have not been treated with STP (sodium tripolyphosphate). STP extends shelflife but leaves the scallops impossible to sear and rubbery.

Shrimp and Scallops in Sriracha Cream

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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12 dry sea scallops

12 16-20 size wild American shrimp, cleaned, deveined and butterflied

1Tablespoon each butter and olive oil

3/4 cup heavy cream

1 Tablespoon sriracha

1.In a large hot skillet melt the butter and olive oil.

2. Generously salt and pepper the shrimp and scallops.

3. Cook the shrimp over medium high heat till just done, 3-4 minutes moving around often. Remove to a plate.

4. Add the scallops to the skillet. Do not move for 3 minutes or till well seared. Turn over and finish for 1-2 minutes. Remove to plate with shrimp.

5. Pour in the cream and let reduce by about 1/4 , stirring up any bits in the pan. Stir in the sriracha.

6. Pool a bit of the sauce on each plate and arrange shrimp and scallops in the sauce.

Fennel and Lemon Brown Rice

Fennel and Lemon Rice

Fennel and Lemon Rice

This is a simple rice dish with a warm and bright flavor. The fennel gives it the warmth and the lemon wakes it up. I add peas for the color and crunch. When possible use a nice rich homemade stock.This is nice with seafood or simple chicken dishes.

Fennel and Lemon Brown Rice

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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1 bulb fennel sliced thin

1 Tablespoon each butter and olive oil

1 cup brown rice

2 1/4 cup chicken stock

zest and juice from 1 lemon

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

1. In a large saucepan cook the fennel in the butter and olive oil until wilted.

2. Add rice and stock and bring to a boil. Stir and reduce heat to simmer and cover for 45 minutes.

3. Turn off heat and add lemon zest, juice and peas. Cover and let sit 15 minutes. Fluff and serve.

Skirt Steak Fajitas

Beef Fajitas

Beef Fajitas

Fajitas are a quick and simple meal with lots of flavor. I choose the skirt steak because it has a deep beefy flavor  and a perfect chewy texture. The skirt steak comes from the plate or belly of the cow. I make a two step rub and cook the steaks whole to get a good color and sear. I slice against the grain into strips after they are cooked. I find the easiest way to warm the tortillas is right on a gas burner, no pan, just about a half minute per side. If you don’t have gas use a dry skillet. Guacamole is a perfect accompaniment.

Skirt Steak Fajitas

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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1 Tablespoon olive oil

3-4 cloves garlic grated

1 Tablespoon each ancho chili powder, cumin and oregano

1 1/2 pounds skirt steak

3 poblanos cut into bite size pieces

1 each red and yellow peppers cut into bite size pieces

2 large onions cut into bite size pieces

flour tortillas

1. Combine olive oil and garlic with generous salt and pepper. Rub all over steaks.

2. Combine ancho  chili powder, cumin and oregano. Rub all over steaks.

3. In a large skillet over medium heat cook all the peppers and onions till well wilted. Remove to platter.

4. Over medium high heat in same skillet cook steaks about 2-3 minutes per side. Cut against the grain into strips and add to platter.

5. Serve with warmed tortillas.

 

Roasted Pork Tenderloin and Fennel

Roasted Pork Tenderloin and Fennel

Roasted Pork Tenderloin and Fennel

Pork tenderloin is hard to beat. They generally run about one pound so serve 2-3 people. Pork tenderloin is easy and reliable to cook. the biggest mistake is overcooking. A while back the USDA changed the rules on pork temperatures so that 145 degrees is fully cooked. Still pink and juicy and full of flavor. This is a simple recipe using mustard, fennel and onions.

Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Fennel

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
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1 Tablespoon grainy mustard

1 Tablespoon brown sugar

1 Tablespoon fennel seed

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon thyme

1 pork tenderloin

1 fennel bulb quartered

1 large onion quartered

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1. Mix mustard, sugar, fennel seed, oil and thyme in a small bowl.

2. Pat the tenderloin dry. Season with salt and pepper. Rub with mustard marinade. Store covered in fridge for 2-24 hours.

3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

4. Toss fennel and onion with olive oil.

5. Roast pork and veggies on a rimmed baking sheet 25 minutes.

6. Let pork rest 5-7 minutes and slice into 1/4-1/2 inch slices. Yum!